Hawaii Association of Independent Schools

Kupuna Consulting Services

Given the remoteness of Hawai'i, it is often difficult to find "just in time" and affordable consultants who understand and appreciate the challenges and opportunities of our independent schools. To this end, HAIS strives to provide our member schools with affordable, high-quality, consistent and practical assistance in the following areas:
  • Mission and Vision review and process to change or update
  • Strategic planning
  • School Governance "101"
  • Strengths-based leadership and team-building (StrengthsFinder)
  • 21st century instructional and assessment strategies (Project-Based Learning, Standards-based grading, Professional Learning
  • Communities, and more)
  • Mentoring (Heads, trustees, administrators)
  • Board and Head of School relations and evaluation
  • Child protection workshop
  • Board and leadership development
  • Leading change
  • Curriculum and program audit
  • Conflict management and mediation
  • Research & Development trips to other schools (in Hawai'i, the mainland, and abroad
  • Service learning and social justice
Our trained and experienced team of consultants offer a unique service that is customized to meet the needs of each school. We take the time to get to know each school's needs and desired outcomes, prior to beginning our work. Our consultants and workshop leaders are trained and authorized by HAIS to ensure consistency and quality.

Meet our Consultants

Val Iwashita, Ph.D. 

Dr. Val Iwashita has more than 35 years of experience in education, having served as a teacher, counselor, principal & vice president (Mid-Pacific Institute), and head of school (Iolani School).  In addition to his many years of experience at at the K-12 level, Val also currently teaches at the Shidler College of Business and the College of Education at the University of Hawaii.  He holds a B.Ed. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Counseling & Guidance from the University of Hawaii and an Ed.D. in Counseling & Personnel from Brigham Young University Provo.

The areas in which he is interested in providing consulting services currently include:  governance, strategic planning, leadership, organizational change, organizational culture and other BIG picture items.

Daniel E. White, Ph.D.
Dr. Dan White has a wealth of experience in education, having served as the headmaster of four private schools – Seabury Hall and Island Pacific Academy in Hawaii and Sacramento Country Day School and Webb School of California – and as a history and political science teacher at both the high school and university level.  He has significant experience in the area of school accreditation and, since 2001, has been consulting with independent schools in Hawaii and California on matters related to organizational and leadership development, institutional assessment, board and faculty retreats, and senior leadership searches. Dr. White holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Riverside.


The areas in which he is interested in providing consulting services currently include: board retreat facilitation, board training, accreditation training, leadership mentoring, institutional assessment, and writing workshops.

Robert Witt, M.Ed.
Robert Witt has forty-five years of service in the field of education as a teacher, school administrator, and was the founding Executive Director of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. During his twenty-five years as the head of HAIS, he focused primarily upon designing and directing professional development programs for senior level business executives and community leaders.  Robert has considerable experience at both the national and state level in the design, development and improvement of school accreditation strategies and guidelines.  He holds a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in Secondary Education, both from the University of Cincinnati, and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Ohio University.


The areas in which he is interested in providing consulting services currently include:  generative governance, transformational leadership, teacher professionalism, school improvement strategies via accreditation, schools of the future initiatives and designs, and charter education governance and leadership.

Paul Singer, M.A, M.Ed.
Paul Singer has served as a Head of School, university faculty member, and board member in both the education and non-profit sectors for over 40 years. He earned a B.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision, and completed his doctoral coursework at the University of Southern California in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Currently serving on the boards of Hanahauoli School and Kahi Mohala – Sutter Health, Paul is also Head of School Emeritus at Assets School through June 2020 and will become President of the Board for HAIS in July 2019.
The areas in which Paul is interested in providing consulting services include: strategic planning, executive searches, executive coaching, facilitation of board retreats, governance, and administrative retreats.

Contact Information

If you are interested in using a consultant please contact them directly:
Val Iwashita, Ph.D. Daniel E. White, Ph.D. Robert Witt, M.Ed.




Paul Singer, M.A, M.Ed.    

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